DEEP DIVE:

how it feels to be ME…

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This is the call prospectus; I will somehow communicate visually to you (since I am a visual artist) the feeling of being Bipolar. My inner workings, tickings, thinkings: the fears and joys, ups and downs, backward-and-forward loves and hatesALL the fuzzies , and the rough edges, swirly thoughts and bumps in the road BLOCKS.

In living color. Will it be beautiful? Perhaps in the fact that I am pouring myself into the page, translating feelings like a electric current running thru my heart to yours. Can it be done? Yes, because that IS what I do, always, in my art. Not to say the feelings come across in all my work to each and every viewer, but it is ultimately what motivates me to create.

. I AM a Bipolar Creative, and I am compelled to create to express this state of being.

“Oh, it’s so easy for you to paint things.”

Is it? Anyone can learn to create a likeness, with practice and will.

But no one can squeeze their very essence into a creative work the way I do without strong emotion, taxing effort, mental strain, soaring delight and, at times, great agitation and even physical pain. Yes, I have heard other Artists, many technically great and successful who purport no emotional contortions are necessary to create great art.

That is not true for me.

My art soothes my frantic racing brain which runs away at breakneck speed when certain conditions are met. Or the melancholy, dark days when I seek the relief of soothing, deep blues and greens..

Yes, I do love this Bipolar life of mine, and I’m glad to be who I am. I am proud to share myself in my art. I hope it helps a friend some future day, to put their feelings on the page…

The Mural Dream of a Cool Kid

“I was high on life, and probably paint fumes and Columbian Gold…it felt cool…”

THE MURAL DREAM

Mural painting is fine art today. Just as great frescoes in the days of Michelangelo, and centuries before, large scale art is an artist’s dream. Is that why children inevitable write in crayon on the playroom walls?

I am sure of this: As long as I have been able to appreciate fine art and my burning desire to depict what I see thru it: I have wanted to paint murals. At times, in my youth, I exercised this need, painting in spray enamel on any available wall in the dead of night. “HELLO WORLD!” in six foot tall red letters over a grinning, fanged 30 foot tall caricature, scrawled on an underpass along I-95 southbound. Painted in 1985, before the Interstate had even made it to West Palm beach. Ah, what satisfaction to drive by it in the backseat of Dad’s Mazda, grinning silently.

These were days before I heard of graffiti culture, I was a transplant to the largely undeveloped east coast of Florida an hour north of Fort Lauderdale. These were the days when the County Sherriff had bricks of coke and bales of weed being dropped on his private airstrip a few miles north of my house. I hung out with a bunch of dudes who owned a race car shop, building mid-engine Mustangs and drag racing on Glades Cut-off Road.

Before Race-day one weekend, the boys let me use all the leftover spraypaint in the shop to paint huge murals of fire breathing dragons and heavy metal chicks everywhere. I was high on life, and probably paint fumes and Columbian gold. What a rush, the guys all in amazement at my grand design. Now I was a real artist, a legend at the shop, “The Girl Who Painted Barrel Road “. Now I knew how Michelangelo must have felt when he unveiled the Sistine Chapel for the Pope! (Unveiled it? How, exactly?) Well, anyway, it felt cool.

FASTFORWARD NOW, 25 years clean and sober, a professionally recognized fine artist in my own right. Now living in St. Petersburg, Florida which hosts the annual “SHINE” mural festival, an event which brings mural artists and fans from all over the globe, and I’m still dreaming.

I know it will happen, I will have a wall to call my own. I will keep pushing, keep striving, keep believing. After all, I was born on the sixth day of March- the same day as Michelangelo!

Round One: Let the Game Begin!

“…walking into the sunlight of my artistic future!”

I Will find the WILL!!

My Founding Artist painting: The first of my works to be placed in The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation’s Permanent Collection!

Fittingly titled “Crossing the Deleware, Well Aware” it shows my journey from despair and being held back by my past to shedding the overcoat of depression and walking into the sunlight of my artistic future! I based this title on the little “George Washington” Dude lurking down in the bottom center of the painting…See his funny hat?

My “Doubting Suzie” Ways

Ok, friends, here’s the deal: I quit working as Frank Strunk III’s intern last week. Why, when I was enjoying learning from him so much? Why, when my mind was blooming open to all kinds of brilliant metal working techniques, and my mind was being blown by his artistic vision?

“Why in the world would you do that Susan Todd?”, Susan Todd asked Susan Todd.

I figured out the answer to that yesterday, although the reasons I gave Frank were that

A. I need to focus on my work I already do, cause it’s what I do. (Huh?)

B. I am doing a piece about my Dad and I’m an emotional landmine.(Hmmmm….What?)

C. I have been invited to a big event and need to focus.(Nope.)

D. Too many scattered efforts make Suzie nuts. (Now THAT makes sense)

Did I do the right thing? I wasn’t sure, because I really want to make metal art. I’m frequently making impulsive decisions and regretting them. He was generous with his time, his tools, opening his shop, his art and heart to help an emerging artist. And I bailed, just when I was really digging in.

An Emotional piece about my Dad…Work in Progress. “Dead Men Tell No Tales”©STMartin2022 (started last week!)

I hate how my Bipolar Disorder makes me run Soooo Hot and then drops me on my doubtful butt. But it did, and here I am. Have I done what I said I was going to do? Well, yes. Yes I have. So that is good, I really have benefited from focusing on less! I have finished one of the pieces for the new INSIGHTS V call and started 2 more. I entered the Art of Possibilities Show in Missouri with 3 works, and finished 2 Grant applications plus am working on a third. And this third one is a doozy.

THE IMAGES ABOVE are of ‘THE DREAMING FOREST’ ©STMartin2022 (A New Work!)

I didn’t get the last three I applied for, but I’m getting better all the time at writing them. This new one I am having trouble writing, but that is ok. I AM REACHING OUT!! Oh, and I finished my Art Business course that the St Pete Arts Alliance gave me a scholarship for!

So, have I been working, and trying and FIGHTING for myself?

Yes! YES!! YES!!!! Making connections and forging ahead, breaking new ground in new and exciting directions. Learning new marketing skills and remembering old ones I had forgotten. Benefiting from taking little risks and meeting new artists.

Now that I have written this I am astounded at all I have accomplished in the past 2 months. I really am a creative Powerhouse! Cutting thru the choppy waters like a PRO! Go Suzie, Go Suzie!

There is NO limit on my creative potential! I can SOAR! Look at me go!!

one of my commissions from 2021

Ride the CREATIVE WAVE!!

“…I will cling to this intensity…God willing…and recall it!”

Baby, When Paint is Flyin’ there is no Cryin’

There Is Just No Holding Me Down!!! I’m a Surging River of Light and Shape, Color and Line!

These are the good days, I will cling to this intensity of feeling…I must emblazon it on the wall of my mind, remember it always. And ,God willing…recall it!

I am always seeking THIS high!

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